PCTs ‘fail to educate patients with diabetes’

PCTs are failing to provide educational resources for patients with diabetes, suggest survey findings from the Healthcare Commission.

Only 11 per cent of the 68,500 diabetes patients questioned had participated in an education course to manage their diabetes. Of these, half had attended more than two years ago.

Among patients who did not participate in a course, 26 per cent said they had wanted to. Ninety-three per cent had not been offered the opportunity.

The survey represents around 55 per cent of adults with type-1 and type-2 diabetes in England and was carried out last year.

By the end of 2006, all PCTs were supposed to have educational provision for diabetes in place under the diabetes NSF.

But Dr Eugene Hughes, a GP in the Isle of Wight and member of the Primary Care Diabetes Society, said: ‘That’s a target that has not been met. There are gaps up and down the country.

‘The provision of these education programmes should be increasing, but it should have been in place by the end of 2006.’

A lack of educational programmes on diabetes also underlies the lack of understanding patients have about their condition, said Dr Hughes.

The Healthcare Commission survey showed that 17 per cent of participants did not know what type of diabetes they had.

Almost a quarter of patients  said they had not received any written information at the time of diagnosis.

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